In­ter­moun­tain Us­ing HIT in At­tempt to Cut Opi­oid Pre­scrib­ing

Health Data Management - - NEWS LINE - —G.S.

IN­TER­MOUN­TAIN HEALTHCARE has set an am­bi­tious goal of re­duc­ing by 40 per­cent the num­ber of opi­oids pre­scribed at its 22 hos­pi­tals and 180 clin­ics serv­ing Utah and Idaho by the end of 2018. To reach its tar­get, the provider or­ga­ni­za­tion will heav­ily lever­age its health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture.

The plan calls for a de­crease in the num­ber of opi­oid tablets pre­scribed by more than 5 mil­lion an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to Todd Allen, MD, In­ter­moun­tain’s act­ing chief qual­ity of­fi­cer, who says the or­ga­ni­za­tion is the first health sys­tem in the coun­try to for­mally an­nounce such an ini­tia­tive.

“When you look at the toll these medicines take in our com­mu­ni­ties, we need to be ag­gres­sive,” says Allen, who notes that Utah—where In­ter­moun­tain is based—ranks sev­enth in the na­tion for drug over­dose deaths and has been ranked as high as fourth na­tion­ally in past years. “We’re right up there at the top in terms of the dam­age be­ing in­flicted upon our fam­i­lies and our com­mu­ni­ties. We knew we needed to act dif­fer­ently.”

Allen says In­ter­moun­tain is tak­ing a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach, which in­cludes ev­i­dence-based best care prac­tices and tech­nol­ogy, to the prob­lem of pre­scrip­tion opi­oids. He re­veals that the health sys­tem has al­ready trained about 2,500 clin­i­cians on “the in­tri­ca­cies of pain man­age­ment” with new poli­cies and tools, and that train­ing will be ex­panded to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s other pre­scribers in Utah and Idaho.

“We’ll make the train­ing more spe­cific, both to spe­cial­ties and to the pa­tient pop­u­la­tions that physi­cians and their care teams work with,” adds Allen. “We’ll re­ally lever­age the grow­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture.”

In­ter­moun­tain is ad­ding de­fault order sets to its Cerner EHR sys­tem to help re­duce the num­ber of tablets pre­scribed by hav­ing these re­sources built into the clin­i­cal work­flow.

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